Colgate-Palmolive Sales Force Thinques on Its Feet

Colgate-Palmolive will use Thinque Systems Corp.'s Thinque MSP for Consumer Goods to automate its nationwide Retail Audit Program (RAP), which measures the performance of consumer products in stores. Thinque MSP for Consumer Goods is a comprehensive field force automation and merchandising application that uses handheld computers to gather and transmit information at the point of customer contact.

Colgate tested the application during a pilot program last year. Preliminary results showed that: shelving and stocking issues were resolved more quickly; audit time improved by 45 percent; administrative support was reduced by 93 percent; reporting time was reduced by 100 percent; and broker response time improved by 66 percent

The Thinque MSP implementation is scheduled to begin in July of this year as the primary technology component of RAP,. Approximately 100 members of the Colgate-Palmolive field force will participate in the RAP program using Thinque MSP. The software will be rolled out nationally.

During its testing phase of RAP, Colgate-Palmolive used Thinque MSP to audit the work of brokers who cover their top retail accounts. With Thinque MSP, field employees tracked a wide variety of information about how retailers presented, stocked and sold Colgate-Palmolive products. For example, Thinque

MSP recorded when products were available or out of stock, voids (i.e., products that were never placed on store shelves), how products were tagged for sale, and how and where products were displayed.

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